Operated by Austrade, the consulate will seek major trade opportunities for Australian companies and foster closer education and research links.
“Our Houston consulate will promote Australia to United States companies as a first-choice destination for investment, particularly in the national priority sectors of resources and energy, agribusiness and advanced manufacturing services and technology,” Mr Robb said.
“Houston is also a global leader in health and medical R&D so we will be looking to extend cooperation and investment flows in this critical sector,” he said.
The United States is a key economic partner for Australia, with two-way investment over A$1.1 trillion in 2013, and bilateral trade worth over A$58 billion in 2013/14.
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by GDP and home to the headquarters of more than 50 Fortune 500 companies.
Houston is also the centre of Australian oil and gas investment in the U.S. More than 100 Australian companies operate in Texas across a number of sectors including resources and energy, engineering, financial services, health and transport.
“The opening of this office is yet another example of the Coalition Government responding to the needs of business; we are focused on increasing and fostering international investment opportunities, while also providing companies with practical support and advice through our overseas network,” Mr Robb said.
The new consulate adds to the Australian Government’s U.S. network, which includes the Australian Embassy in Washington D.C. and consulates in New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Honolulu.
Consular and passport services are now available from the Houston consulate to Australian citizens residing or travelling in Texas, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Louisiana.